Louisiana Senate Approves Medical Cannabis Expansions

The Louisiana Senate has approved major medical cannabis expansions; the measure moves next to the governor, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

Full story after the jump.

The Louisiana Senate has approved a measure allowing any condition to be treated with medical cannabis as long as use for the condition is approved by a physician, the Monroe News-Star reports. The measure would also allow any medical doctor in good standing to recommend patients to the program.

Once signed by the governor, the new rules would significantly expand patient access to the state’s medical cannabis program.

The bill outlines nine new specific medical conditions that would become eligible for treatment but opens up all conditions, dictating that, “Any condition not otherwise specified in present law or proposed law that a physician, in his medical opinion, considers debilitating to an individual patient and is qualified through his medical education and training to treat.”

Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Fred Mills (R), who championed the first approved medical cannabis bill in the state, told the News-Star earlier this month that while “a lot of good results have happened” because of the program “accessibility has become the big issue.”

The Health and Welfare Committee also advanced two other medical cannabis-related bills on Wednesday, including one which would authorize physicians to make program recommendations for the treatment of certain neurodegenerative diseases and conditions and another that would allow access to the program for the treatment of fibromyalgia pain, according to a KATC report.

The expansion measure passed the House on May 15 77-15. It passed the Senate 28-6. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has twice signed medical cannabis expansion bills, first in 2016 and again in 2018, and is expected to give the recent expansion final approval.

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